MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Harris Poll: Hy-Vee, Publix, Wegmans, Costco lead in brand equity

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – The 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend (EQ) study, which measures brand equity for more than 1,500 brands across 170 categories, finds traditional grocery store brands rank highest overall in three of the four regions surveyed. The EQ index examines three key factors of brand equity: familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.

In America’s heartland, consumers name Hy-Vee as the Midwest Grocery Store Brand of the Year. While not among the most familiar brands for the region, consumers who are familiar with the brand give strong marks for quality and purchase consideration. Also ranking above the Midwest Region Grocery Store category average are Meijer, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Walmart (Groceries) and Jewel & Jewel-Osco.

In the Northeast, Wegmans is Brand of the Year in the Grocery Store category. With about 80 stores, most located in New York and Pennsylvania, Wegmans has a smaller footprint than many competitors in the region. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, ShopRite, Hannaford Bros., BJ’s Wholesale Club (Groceries), Stop & Shop, Costco (Groceries), Price Chopper and Giant Food Stores also rank above the Northeast Region Grocery Store category average.

Publix is its Grocery Store Brand of the Year in the South for 2014. Primarily located in Florida and Georgia, Publix earns the top ranking with strong purchase consideration ratings and quality marks. Also ranking above the South Region Grocery Store category average are Walmart (Groceries), H-E-B, Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Sam’s Club (Groceries) and Target (Groceries).

Costco is the Brand of the Year among West Region Grocery Stores, with the highest brand equity ranking of any brand in any region. Other brands to rank above the category average in the West Region include Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, Safeway and Stater Bros. Markets.

When looking across the four regions, it is worth noting that both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Markets are the only national brands to rank above the category average in all four regions, with consistently strong quality and purchase consideration scores.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: Only 2% of products posted on social commerce sites

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Only 1.7% of products are posted on social commerce properties. In addition, according to the Search and Social Commerce Index from predictive media optimization technology Kenshoo and semantic advertising company DataPop, even among products in their most popular product categories, retailers post only 7.2% of their products via social commerce.

Seventy percent of retailers fail to align the copy in their social posts with what consumers care about most when discovering new brands and products. However, the study of more than three million published products from more than 40 retailers shows that 42% of marketers already leverage social commerce. Product listing ads and search continue to drive more than half of all site traffic for retailers, but social commerce sites, including Pinterest, Polyvore, Houzz and Wanelo, are driving big gains in traffic and sales for retailers.

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FINANCE

RetailMeNot: Parents spend $659 annually on school supplies

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Parents spend, on average, $659 on school-related costs throughout the year per family. According to a survey from digital coupon provider RetailMeNot, 67% of parents start their back-to-school shopping by the end of July, which is down slightly from 2013 (71%).

Nearly nine-in-10 parents (88%) surveyed report that their child participates in extracurricular activities during the school year, which on average add up to $396 throughout the school year. Moreover, working parents are spending even more than non-working parents on extracurricular activities ($428 compared to $301).

Research suggests that school-related costs impact the spending habits of parents. Three in four parents have spent less on something for themselves specifically because of their child’s education costs. And more working parents than non-working parents (78% compared to 68%) have spent less on items for themselves due to school fees. The top items parents have cut back on for themselves include clothing or shoes (56%), dining out (55%) and vacations (49%).

The ways people are back-to-school shopping may be shifting as well, as online shopping is increasingly playing a larger role in the season. Only 60% of parents plan to shop mostly or completely in a physical store this year, compared to more than seven-in-10 (72%) who did so in 2013.

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